Street Art-Actions: (Micro)sound cartography

Curators: Tito Rivas, Jorge David García

Murray Schafer coined the concept of soundmark to refer to the "unique" or "special" sounds that give identity to a space. For example, in Mexico City we could speak of cathedral bells, or the particular sound of subway cars, or the “exotic" and decontextualized sound of the "mexican pregoneros,” all useful to reaffirm the tourist stereotype of “Mexico’s popular spirit.”

However, who gives an account of the "minor sounds,” with which the inhabitant of space identifies his own place? Who will attend to the unpleasant, unstable, or the sounds that are simply "uninteresting" for the identifier of "regional symbols"? Is it only the "monumental sound" or the "colorful postcard" that give an identity to a community? Based on these questions, this street art-action route calls for sound interventions that contribute to listening, mapping, and analyzing the micro-soundmarks that make up the everyday acoustics of our space.

Fragmented Images of a Street Narrative

Through a series of recordings of popular songs interrupted by fragments of personal stories which are broadcast by a speaker attached to the body, people are encouraged to listen to and follow this strange and vibrant character along the street in an absurd, violent, and mundane context—fragments of who we are.


Alba Cadena Roldan is an interdisciplinary visual artist from Colombia who explores video art, performance, and writing related to notions of the body, violence, and healing in relation to individuals and communities. She is currently pursuing an MA in Art at the ASAB Faculty of Arts.

Alba Cadena Roldan: Fragmented Images of a Street Narrative

Songs for Development

Urban development: the most polluting activity across all continents. It is alarming that a majority of the population is concentrated in urban centers, and yet we are still drawn to what these places have to offer. Let’s take our bodies to the streets and sing songs for development so that people may listen carefully to what human nature is all about.


Alejandro Chellet is a multidisciplinary artist engaged in cultural and permacultural networks in Upstate NY/NYC/CDMX. He uses waste, public space, architecture, and performance to address forgotten principles of coexistence and the loss of connection with nature in the political and environmental context of urban societies.

Alejandro Chellet: Songs for Development

SILENT MIGRANTS: car, speaker –information center

Mexico has a large concentration of poor migrants, many of whom are Afro-descendants from Central America and the Caribbean. They ask for help to continue their journey North, where they are not welcome. By broadcasting the testimonies of these migrants, which were collected through interviews, we call on people to support them.


Álvaro Villalobos is an artist and member of the SNI-CONACYT, Mexico. His work consists of research, performances, and installations that tackle social and political issues. He works with the artists Yuri Aguilar and Luis Serrano of the Grupo de Investigación Acción Interdisciplinaria sobre Arte y Entorno (GIAE) in the postgraduate program at the UNAM School of Arts and Design.

Álvaro Villalobos: SILENT MIGRANTS: car, speaker –information center

Occupied Frequency. Photo provided by the artist.

Occupied Frequency

Occupied Frequency intervenes in the soundscape of everyday life, using radio to explore the relationship between communication, community, and the commons.


Colectivo Surco is a transnational group of researchers, radio journalists, and artists affiliated with the organization Servicios Universitarios y Redes de Conocimientos de Oaxaca, S.A. (SURCO), and involved in a wide range of collaborative research activities with indigenous peoples, social movements, and experiments with alternative education.

Colectivo SURCO: Occupied Frequency

StereoMono. Photo provided by the artist.


Something is at work. We call this action impromptu—techniques that install the unforeseen alternatives to repetitions of predictable gestures and responsiveness. We meet pedestrians wearing headphones and ask to listen to a minute of their music. From this instantaneous act of sharing, the dance of this encounter is born.


Lab.Ei (Laboratory for Essays and Unpredictability), based in Florianopolis, Brazil, investigates the intersections between dance and philosophy through the production of events and interdisciplinary processes that unite theory and action. We are interested in the unseen, shared (intangible-sensitive) choreographies that bring emotions together in synch.

Lab.Ei: StereoMono

Organegreros. Photo provided by the artist.


The performance explores variants of the mask and their possible uses in tandem with postcolonial projects. Masks and/or the act of masking of the body perpetuates problematic histories that include, but are not limited to, social rituals of mockery as public shame, ethnological practices, and assimilation.


Marton Robinson (Costa Rica/US) investigates modes of communication and translation, history, and culture that challenge the representations and assumptions of popular culture. Robinson’s work exposes the nuances present in the Afro-Latino experience, enriching critical discourse surrounding contemporary works of the African Diaspora.

Marton Robinson: Organegreros

Crack Cartographies

This project intends to modify social understandings of “bazulco” or crack, using street vending as a starting point. During a tour, a sound piece is played. Flyers which feature the experiences of homeless crack users, as well as a critical set of instructions, are distributed.


Miguel Angel González Merchán is a Colombian artist who uses art as an excuse to reflect on identity and power. He aims to use satire as a mode of disruption. His line of work looks at the deconstruction of identity from a sociopolitical perspective. Merchán currently works as a production assistant at PerfoArtNet.

Miguel Angel González Merchán: Crack Cartographies

Dead Air. Photo provided by the artist.

Dead Air

Dead Air constructs performances from the distribution of local radio waves. Walking along the borders for specific frequencies, I broadcast the sounds of the immediate live environment. Receivers in the area, such as a car radios and home stereos, pick up the transmission and create a brief concert of field recording, noise, and feedback.


Mitchell Oliver is an artist who uses moving image, sound, installation, and performance to assert the value of durational and embodied experience as methods for critical existence. Raised in the Southeast US, Mitchell is currently showing work in refrigerators, film festivals, books, forests, dumpsters, museums, and deserts across North America.

Mitchell Oliver: Dead Air

Day for Night: The Mexican Nite. Photo provided by the artist.

Day for Night: The Mexican Nite

“Day for night” is a traditional cinematic technique that makes it possible to film night scenes during the day. It inspired the Truffaut movie of the same name. In this app-performance, the artist will share pre-recorded sounds that characterize the LGBT nightlife of CDMX. The action will be done using WhatsApp.


Rodrigo Arenas-Carter is a migrant artist and writer with an MA in Literature. He has received grants from Fondart-Chile, Residency for the ‘Migrant Experience’ (Canada), and Experimenta/Sur. In 2018, his book La Vital Precariedad. Poesía y Performance en América Latina y Chile (Vital Precarity: Poetry and performance art in Latin America and Chile) was published in Europe by the EAE.

Rodrigo Arenas-Carter: Day for Night: The Mexican Nite

Tamales Aturquesados. Photo provided by the artist.

Tamales Aturquesados

Tamales Aturquesados is part of Aturquesada, a performance-based project in which I sell and/or barter various objects in turquoise in public spaces where informal economic activities are present. While “performing” this art intervention, I engage the public in conversation to negotiate the value of the tamales aturquesados.


soJin Chun is a visual artist based in Toronto. Her work explores narratives that emerge in-between cultures, informed by her experiences living in the Korean diaspora in Bolivia and in Canada. Through international artist residencies, screenings, and exhibitions, Chun has shared her whimsical work in video, installation, and performance.

soJin Chun: Tamales Aturquesados